Great Speakers Use Acting Skills

public speaking using acting skills

*FAINTING follow up – reivew

Review of an exercise – Fainting in Berghdorf’s

From a young actress –

“So  I did it, I fainted at Bergdorf’s.  I got up and took a shower, brushed my teeth and hair, put on a respectable outfit. 

I took the bus and the whole way I was squirming in discomfort.  Once there I spent an hour and a half perusing ladies lingerie and the shoe department, I did not want to do this.  $100 later I realized it was now or never and made my way to another department .   I was certain that I would be suspected.  I kept reminding myself that I was a grown woman, that I had the right to faint where I damn well pleased.  There were people everywhere! I picked a spot.  I hated this.  It felt like climbing up the high dive platform, while the whole way your guts are churning to water, and no turning back.  I knew that to pull it off I had to believe myself that I was fainting.  I thought about what it feels like to have your vision tunnel, and then I induced a wave of nausea, vertigo.  I made a commitment and sank slowly down to the floor.

Immediately a man rushed to my side as I was coming to and I said “I shouldn’t have missed breakfast this morning”.  He insisted on helping me to my feet and sitting me down and offered to get me water. I thanked him and he left to get it.  The other sales people were giving me plenty of space and asking if I was alright.  When he returned I sipped the offered water and again thanked him and apologized for taking their time. 

After a few minutes I started to feel like I should get out of there, so I gathered my belongings  and said that I thought I had better go and get myself something to eat.  Then I left.

 Wow!  What the hell just happened?  I was buzzing.  I felt guilty at first, “I can’t believe I willingly deceived someone and wasted his time.  I’m a terrible person, how could I do that?”  Then I started to realize that as far as the entire rest of the world was concerned I actually HAD fainted in Bergdorf’s that morning. The whole thing took all of about ten minutes and it was exciting, even fun.  It felt good to be taken care of like that, to be made much of .  This man and I had a genuine and personal interaction in which I was seen and vulnerable, and I invited it.  The exercise reminded me of how I was as a child, fearless, imaginative, in control.  My initial fear was all the voices in my head that tell me how to be an appropriate adult.  What I did was not a prank, or an attempt to make someone else look stupid, it was an exercise for me.  It was scary, then empowering, and I’m glad I did it.  Thanks Barbara!”


May 25, 2009 - Posted by | fear of speaking, presentations, Public Speaking

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